Out on my regular Sunday afternoon fragrance trawl (what else is there to do on a Sunday afternoon pray tell? … teehee) I had every intention of sampling Cartier's Déclaration d'un Soir … which has unhappily not made it to shops in my neck of the woods yet! Instead, Essence de Bois was on offer and as I hadn't tried it before either, I whacked a few hefty sprays to my left forearm.
"NICE!!!" … was my immediate exclamation, and it really only got better from there. Erring on the side of caution, I swept myself off to a late lunch of patè and champagne (Sunday afternoons are 'me' time and utterly sacrosanct LOL) all the while snuffling at the crook of my elbow and emitting little grunts of pleasure!
Essence de Bois contains a beautifully pared down Oud, evident from the first sniff. It's almost as if this note was put on a carb-free-high-protein diet and 60 000 steps a day, rendering it sleek, sophisticated and waif-like … not overpowering in the least!! Now … Musk and Violet are probably the two notes I detest the most in perfumery … so thankfully they don't make their presence felt here in any major way. What I do get is the lovely greenness of violet leaf ( similar to Grey Flannel but with the volume turned WAY down) bolstered by the hesperidic freshness of Yuzu. I also get quite a bit of Lavender … just delicious!!
The star of the show here is undoubtedly the soft Oud … backed up by a little Patchouli. If there is any Ambergris in this fragrance (as suggested by the note pyramid) it doesn't register to my nose.
Essence de Bois is not going to win any sillage or longevity awards … it's an Eau de Toilette after all. As such, however, it is one of the best in this genre I have tried. I bought a 200ml bottle at a severely discounted price, making the day a winner all around!